He’s now taken the next technological leap and created an immersive art experience at Lightroom, a vast room with screens on all four walls that allow us to be surrounded by his artworks – while listening to him tell us about the pieces in question.
The 50 minute experience is perfectly synchronised so that when he remarks that roads on maps can look like squiggles those same roads appear on the floor next to us, or as he mentions sketchbooks we’re suddenly enveloped on all sides by his hand flicking through dozens of them. While a section of his paintings of the theatre finds the marching characters come to life as a composition by Wagner booms throughout the space.
Hockney’s dulcet tones lead us through his early photography, his time admiring the light and swimming pools of Los Angeles and how any weather can inspire his landscape paintings – right on cue we’re surrounded by green countryside in lashings of rain, about as British as a landscape gets.
It’s filled with little titbits of information about his work that are helpful as a guide to anyone new to Hockney’s work, which is the audience that are likely to come to this experience. It seldom descends into lecturing, the exception being a segment on the importance of perspective in art, and largely the tone feels about right in telling us about his art while letting it all soak in through our eyes.
There have been plenty of immersive art experiences in London, on the likes of Frida Kahlo and Vincent Van Gogh, but this is the first one made in collaboration with a living artist – this level of involvement means this is the strongest of these types of experiences we’ve seen to date.
In Hockney’s own words: ‘I have to paint, I’ve always wanted to make pictures .. I’m still enjoying it enormously’. All that’s changed is he’s found a new way for us to experience his art, and it’s a success.
David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away) at Lightroom. £25-£37.50. 22 February - 4 June.
|What||David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not further & smaller away), Lightroom review|
|Where||Lewis Cubitt Square, King's Cross, London, N1C 4BT | MAP|
|Nearest tube||King's Cross St. Pancras (underground)|
22 Feb 23 – 04 Jun 23, 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book|